2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Technology, Startups and Turnaround Economies

#sxsw #DETstartup

Several years ago, roughly 350,000 residents in the city of Detroit were either directly or indirectly employed in the industrial manufacturing industry supporting our country's automotive industry. Since then those 350,000 rather well paying jobs have fallen below 20,000 jobs according to a recent interview with former MI Governor Jennifer Granholm. This significant loss in employment opportunities has been one of many causes of the economic decline in the city of Detroit.

The city of Detroit recently filed for bankruptcy, making it the largest city in American history ever to do so. People around the country are watching what happens and the uncertainty is running high. Despite all of the unanswered questions, there is one industry thriving in Detroit — start-ups. And, there are several VCs and investors willing to bet on Detroit and the strength of its booming tech scene.



Erin Teague



Erin Teague recently joined Yahoo as a Director of Product Management. In this role, Erin is responsible for the new user and login experiences for all Yahoo products. Prior to Yahoo, Erin worked as a Product Manager at Path and Twitter where she focused on user growth, product, strategy and analytics. Erin began her career at Morgan Stanley in New York, where she was a Software Engineer and Product Manager in the firm’s Algorithmic Trading Technology group.

Originally from Michigan, Erin holds a MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Morgan Stanley Fellow, and a BS in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, where she graduated with honors as an Intel Scholar.


Lauryn Hale

Strategic Partner Mgr


Lauryn Hale is a Strategic Partner Manager on Facebook's Global Platform Partnerships team in Menlo Park, CA. In this role Lauryn partners with mobile developers to help them build, grow and monetize their apps through the integration of Facebook platform products. Lauryn is also a member of Facebook's Black Employee Network leadership team.

Prior to this role, Lauryn worked as a digital organizer for President Obama's re-election campaign, as well as a marketing manager at General Mills and American Express.

She holds a BBA from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and a MBA from Harvard Business School.


Marlon Nichols

Dir & Kauffman Fellow

Intel Capital

Marlon Nichols is an equity investor and Kauffman Fellow at Intel Capital. In this role, Marlon champions the seed stage investment program for the Ultrabook and Perceptual Computing investment sector. Specifically, Marlon works closely with the startup ecosystem to source, invest in, and advise early stage high growth technology companies that produce cloud services, internet, and mobility solutions with an emphasis on new user experiences and perceptual computing. Marlon spent his first two years with Intel Capital focusing on enterprise software investments. During that time he was involved with the MongoDB, Mirantis, elasticbox, and Yottaa investments to name a few.

Marlon started his career in enterprise software where he successfully led the deployment of many global software and business process improvement initiatives for Fortune 100 enterprises. During his software career he was a member of a three person team based in London, UK that was responsible for the European expansion of Frictionless Commerce.

Marlon later joined Edgewater Strategy, a boutique consulting firm where he led post M&A technology integration initiatives for the Blackstone Group’s real-estate division. Later, in the role of principal strategist, he led digital strategy initiatives for media companies such as Warner Music Group and McGraw Hill.

Prior to joining Intel Capital Marlon served as the Lead Fund Manager of BRV, Cornell University’s evergreen venture capital fund.
Marlon holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern University and an MBA degree from Cornell University where he was a Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow.


Ted Serbinski


Detroit Venture Partners

Ted Serbinski is a Partner at Detroit Venture Partners, where he leads investments in early-stage software startups. Ted is widely regarded as an influential, emerging technology venture partner in the Midwest, leading the startup renaissance in Detroit.

Previously, he was CTO and co-founder of ParentsClick acquired by Lifetime Television. For over 9 years, Ted was a lead, open source developer for Drupal and a pioneer in scaling the Drupal platform for Fortune 500 clients including MTV, Sony, and Lifetime TV.

Ted earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Cornell University.

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